10 arrested in Metro Manila for violating vape ban

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The acting Metro Manila police chief says enforcing the ban on vapes is among the agency's "top priorities" (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 24) — Authorities caught ten people in Metro Manila who violated the nationwide vaping ban, police said Sunday.

The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) reported violators from the Sta. Cruz and Malate, Manila and Makati City.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) began its crackdown on vaping equipment on November 20. This follows President Rodrigo Duterte’s verbal order banning the importation and use of vapes.

Acting NCRPO Chief PBGen. Debold Sinas said enforcing the ban is among the police’s “top priorities.“

“In the enforcement thereof, we are bound to ensure that all violators will be arrested and properly recorded in the blotter book,” Sinas said Sunday.

Earlier, PNP Officer-In-Charge LtGen Archie Gamboa said vaping is covered under Executive Order No. 26 which prohibits smoking in enclosed public spaces and public conveyances, among other restrictions. Duterte echoed this, saying vaping can be included in the country's existing anti-smoking laws.

However, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines said arrests made in light of the ban may still be contested in courts. This despite Duterte’s warning against judges not to oppose his order as they may opt to issue restraining orders blocking the ban.

The Customs bureau has also ordered the block of entry of vaping products, such as e-cigarettes and e-liquids in the country.